When I was preparing Vogue V8766 for Lynda Maynard’s Sew the Perfect Fit class on Craftsy, I had to do a lot of measuring and marking on my pattern before I could even think about cutting. I marked the stitching line 5/8″ in from the pattern’s marked cutting line, and I marked a new cutting line 3/8″ out from the pattern’s marked cutting line in order to get Lynda’s prescribed 1″ seam allowance. That means I went around each pattern piece not once but twice. I added both lines by hand, using my giant ruler and making little dashes in order to get the curves just right, and it took forever. But, I wanted to get it perfect for the sake of the class and for the love of learning.
And then, of course, as soon as I was done I was contacted by the good people at SA Curve Ruler and was sent their 5/8″ SA Curve Mini and Pattern Drafter set. They are both 5/8″ wide and have a ruled straight section and a ruled curved section, perfect for marking the stitching line on most commercial patterns or adding seam allowances to most BurdaStyle and magazine patterns. Exactly what I wished I’d had but didn’t know existed only days before. To add insult to injury, I realized I could have also easily used these rulers to add 5/8″ extra to the seam allowance to make 1 1/4″ wide seam allowances. I figure as long as I have the stitching line marked, that extra 1/4″ can only help out with the fitting process, right?!
Or, if I wanted to follow the rules, I could just get the 3/8″ SA Curve Ruler Pattern Drafter so that I could mark a true 1″ seam allowance for fitting. It sounds like there’s even a 3/8″ SA Curve Mini (and a metric ruler for all of you that use the measuring system that the scientist in me prefers!) in the works. These would also come in handy when you’re adding seam allowances and want to keep them to a minimum, closer to what I’ve heard is the industry standard 1/4″.
Curious how they work? Claire has videos of the Pattern Drafter in action. Here‘s one where she’s marking the stitching line on a commercial pattern, and here‘s one where she’s tracing a magazine pattern that doesn’t come with any seam allowances.
I marked the stitching lines on my Sewaholic Alma pattern (look out for the finished make on MSN tomorrow!) just to see how it felt using the ruler. And, I am happy to report that I found it to be faster (and so more fun, which is really the most important consideration!) to use than the regular ruler I’d used for marking Vogue V8766. That said, I do think it’ll take me a bit more practice to find the right curve for the job as quickly as Claire does in the videos.
Now, I saved the best for last, of course. For the next three weeks, you can save 20% off your purchase in the SACurve Etsy shop by using the coupon code SEWWELL20. So, go, right now, and get your curve on!